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Posts from the ‘willpower’ Category

The inappreciative patient and my lost summer pleasures

I have mixed feelings towards people who are too positive, too optimistic and expect too much when there is no good reason to do so. It is twice as bad if your doctor sees things for not what they are, but assumes them way better than the real condition shows.

lost summer 1

This is my stormy summer

The surgery itself went quite smoothly. We cannot escape unpleasant feelings and sensations with lots of cutting. However, I was very shocked when they quickly dressed the huge wound and told: ok, let’s go. I wasn’t really able to walk because one part of incision was fairly close to the ankle while the other which did not cause that much discomfort was under the knee. This leg has grafted skin since 1992, so this type of skin is unable to hold sutures. The doctor told there was no need also to apply something else. He proudly announced we would expect this to heal quickly by second intention which simply means: wound that is extensive and involves considerable tissue loss, and in which the edges cannot be brought together, heals naturally from the inside out. I certainly was concerned when they told me to walk right away, but my head was very foggy, and so we drove home.

I was wearing loose long pants, so only when I fall in the bed and lifted up the fabric, I noticed blood spots. They became larger and more and more intense until I had to cover this up with a few more layers of gauze. The blood was literally streaming through the gauze. I called the doctor’s office. They told to send a picture. It’s needless to say, my exhaustion was insane and pain was increasingly stronger, so it took me big efforts to send a picture over the phone, sounds funny, but it was like that. Well, they said: I had to go to emergency. Emergency was quite surprised how they had let me go, but after some 3-4 hours they were able to fix the issue and stop bleeding.

I am always careful with medications I am prescribed or signs and symptoms which occur. The pain was just stronger and stronger. The ankle area was totally swollen. I had fever, too, and that was pretty much an indication of infection. All surgeries have 2 main complications: bleeding and infection. It looked I was getting both. If my head was clear and I had my normal brain sharpness, I most likely had noticed what antibiotic I was prescribed. I did not pay attention; I just took a pill from the small container and watched the clock not to miss some dose. On the next day, I was fairly sure, things are not right. I have had so many surgeries in the past that I am able to feel when something is getting out of control. Some so-called home care doctors came; they took vitals and had a look at the dressing. I had to go to emergency again. The doctor who checked the wound at emergency seemed to be really in shock. It’s infected, he stated. Well, I knew it already, but nevertheless, when I looked at the wound myself, I almost fainted. Necrotic spots were visible; the look was so terrible that I started hysterically crying. The part that hurt me most was: so much of viable tissue was lost. I needed it, I needed it so badly in order to heal!

Thankfully, they had sent a wound swab to the lab. Meanwhile, I was given i/v and attached to an i/v antibiotic infusion pump. It’s a fairly uncomfortable thing, if you are not familiar with it. They had initially attached it to the vein in my right arm, straight below the elbow, so for a few days I couldn’t use my right arm. This pump stays with you for 5-7 days, so one is very limited in mobility because the long infusion line gets caught everywhere and sleeping with it is scary.

On Monday I received a call that I have to return to emergency immediately. Why? That was the third time within 5 days. The antibiotic I was receiving was not able to handle the nasty microorganisms, they didn’t give anything about this particular drug, there was a complete resistance.

3-4 more hours at emergency, and finally I was given another i/v, another antibiotic which supposedly would be working. Therefore, I had lost more than 4 days, and for type I diabetic with extensive surgical site infection, that is like eternity. 3 more days with my friend infusion pump. This time I knew how that feels to have this pump attached day and night to the vein, so I got the line inserted in the left arm, on the outside and not directly under the elbow. If only my head had been clear enough to follow-up on these antibiotics which I was given! I had told the doctor: cephalosporins DO NOT work. The previous doctor had already found out that. I really regret there does not exist a unified online database with patient records so that any treating physician could see sensitivities, intolerances and resistances right away, BEFORE MAKING SUCH TERRIBLE MISTAKES, before causing conditions which are absolutely preventable. Nevertheless, he had prescribed exactly cephalosporin. Did he think I had no idea what I was talking about? His ignorance caused me abnormal troubles, pain and resulted in severe complications. It’s hard to understand, but it seems every doctor in Ontario prescribes cephalosporins as a first choice medication, and most likely that is causing the resistance. They are overprescribed and over-applied.

The doctor? He told everything was fine even when I sent the black and blue necrotic and infected wound pictures. Is that even possible that somebody can be so wrong with the evaluation? Does this somebody have zero experience? Is he so sloppy and negligent that he does not want to admit things went so wrong because of lack of ANY PREVENTIVE MEASURES? It looked bad and shocking, and it was clear the healing will take much more time. Not to mention the stress, anxiety, worries, frustration and despair.

Lost summer 2

Meanwhile everything is blooming outdoors

I do regret I did not try harder to raise funds for having this surgery done in Latvia. I had never such a bad experience before, and quite honestly, I would not have survived the injuries back then if treatments were like this one. It makes me feel as if patient does not matter. It all comes down to money eventually. The doctor said if he was even ok with me staying at a hospital, they did not have enough beds for such “easy” (?!?) surgeries.

The only thing I still hope for is: this has a good end. This wound heals without any other complications.

Lost summer 5

Summer goes on with colors and heat

Meanwhile, my lovely summer disappears with a speed of light. I love the crisp mornings after rain, I love the exhausting heat and sipping cold lemon water in my backyard. I love watching my flowers and vegetables blooming and exploding in beauty. I love the saturated colors of ripening vegetables, and I miss the garden work so much! The last good year for me was 2013. That was the year of my daughter’s second wedding, the year of traveling and pleasure. My biggest goal is now getting this finally fixed and forgetting everything that happened this summer like a bad dream. I haven’t painted for a fairly long time. I feel so exhausted, so drained and so helpless at the moment. When I’m seeing quotes and wise advises on what’s life, what’s success and what’s happiness and similar intellectual pearls, that makes me laugh and cry at the same time: just stop pretending you are not aware how things do not depend on you. Living in the moment is fine, as long as this moment is tolerable for you. Nobody asks or ever will ask you whether you are ok with pain or struggles that are inevitable. Everything has a very logical cause and a very logical effect. I am mobilizing all my internal energy and strength at the moment to overcome the side effects and to bring the wound to a good healing stage. Well, it’s already looking better.

lost summer 3

Catalpa tree has made beans already while I was sleeping inside

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Has positive thinking made you rich, healthy and happy?

Or did you have to work hard and go through lots of struggles instead?

I believe, everybody has seen these and similar ads: eat whatever you want, don’t even exercise, and lose weight. Right. Just take our pill so that everything happens effortlessly.

Effortlessly is the keyword for everything. People who want to make money using these empty promises are quite successful.

Effortlessly achieving everything

Try our dating site and see how you find the right husband or wife right away, we do everything for you so that you just enjoy this person and are thankful for the rest of your life. To us.

Try our new outfit and see how effortlessly you get a new job because you make such a fantastic impression at the job interview.

Try our product and see how effortlessly you become the healthiest person ever, just one spoon a day, and you are like new and absolutely free of any digestive problems.

Use our cream and make your wrinkles and age spots disappear within one week. You will look just like her who’s undergone some 10 plastic surgeries and has daily beauty procedures in the most expensive clinic with the most expensive treatments.

Buy our book: positive thinking and positive attitude and see how your life improves within a few days. You are rich, healthy and happy. Problems disappear, and your mind is bright, focused, and sharp. Every day is a happy one, and nothing bad can happen to you. Effortlessly, just write down these sentences or repeat them in the morning and before you go to bed.

So, we could continue endlessly because all what one has to do is think positively and repeat affirmations and everything happens. They get the dream job or even better don’t have to work at all. I saw on Facebook, one had to share a picture with piles of banknotes and it said underneath: money flows to me effortlessly, and that was promised to become true. That sounds like a line from a criminal fairy tale. In reality, there is no such a thing as money flows to somebody effortlessly.

The next thing is usually health: repeat or write on a paper whatever times this positive affirmation and you will be surprised how no headache bothers you, you never get colds, heart burn, digestive disorders, anxiety, not to mention diabetes disappears, cancer resolves from itself and heart attack or insult will never threaten you. It’s very simple: just be positive and pain will completely go away. Depression will turn into uplifting energy. Broken bones will heal and age related dementia is just a joke which may affect people who are not positive enough.

In the same simple way one can change the relationship, make bad marriage good just being positive about it, get hundreds of new admirers and therefore have no problem with choosing a spouse.

Here it finally is: somebody has discovered the secret of success in any area of our life. They know it, and you don’t. You definitely have to learn about that.

That’s why positive thinking is attracting so many people. It is said it solves everything: from health problems to financial disasters and debts, from mental disorders to marriage solutions and personal improvement.

First of all, life is life, bad things happen to very nice and good people, too, and the biggest part of humans or almost everybody (whether they admit that or not) is UNHAPPY or UNSUCCESSFUL in some area of their life and time to time. Nobody can be absolutely happy every single second and anything we do can potentially have wrong or bad outcome, as well. ANYTHING.

Secondly, when things go wrong or health gives us hard times, most people often look for causes in themselves and in their own actions, and then they blame other people and life, government and afterwards their fate. Bad diagnosis is mind-blowing and devastating, and we are ready to do everything to cure ourselves. I know that because that is how I initially felt: completely lost, desperate and helpless. Because we all instinctively hope that nothing bad can happen to us personally. When such book about positive thinking comes along or happens to be in our sight, that’s like something minor to buy it, possibly read it and possibly try to be positive when we are absolutely desperate, in pain and suffering.

The huge number of terminally sick, badly sick and suffering people proves that this approach does not really work. If it was so simple: why are there so many sick people who suffer from incurable or partially curable diseases?  I am very sure many of them are aware of positive thinking and have tried it. We are actually overcoming our fear from the future not because we are positive we will survive, but because we find physical and mental strength to cope with such issues. That is called willpower and desire to live.

The huge number of homeless, starving and jobless people also proves that there is no real connection between being positive and having everything one needs: safe home, well-paying job and enough good nutritious food. I am very sure everybody has positive attitude and positive expectations when they go to apply for a job, when they try to save money for a house. Yet, positive thinking won’t prevent us from global financial crisis which can destroy all savings and put us out on a street. How bad is that because we are positive and people who have all the money are not? Right? Otherwise they’d just simply help us out.

Although, millions of people have tried the positive attitude challenge and still do, that hasn’t had any impact on the decrease of diseases, that has no impact on the global economy and that has no effect on each and every family’s wellbeing.

Lots of people live or at least try to live believing that everything is fine and if they feel something is wrong, they blame themselves for not being positive enough.

Positive, negative and neutral thinking are simply distinctive ways of perceiving the reality, therefore, there is no reason to put emphasises on one of them. It is obvious that we must have a positive outlook when initiating or doing something (otherwise: why to bother?), but this positivism has to be based on reality, and therefore realistically inclined optimism is much more valuable than plain positivism. We review our chances, we realistically evaluate our goals and odds, and we realistically approach every problem: what is there we can do? Realistic approach also includes a healthy criticism. Well, that might seem to be too much down to Earth, but I could list hundreds of examples when realistic optimism causes no disappointment, but overly positive expectations do, and that happens every time when there was absolutely no reason to hope for a good outcome.

Lots of people believe that they are entitled to everything, and to have this everything shouldn’t take them any efforts.

There is no scientifically proven correlation between positive thinking and better health, longer life, better income or better personal relationships. I could insert a long list of psychologists who proved how delusional positivism and obsession with seeing no downside in anything can have the adverse effect: from more severe depression and anxiety cases to people who got scammed out their life savings or got betrayed in other ways; but I will not insert this list because I want to describe my personal observations and experiences. However, if you google “the negative effects of positive thinking”, very many articles listing psychological research will come up. That means, positive thinking does not constitute “a cause and effect” correlation because people who are already healthy, people who have no financial problems or are naturally inclined to explain everything from the trust and belief position (are born as a psychologically easy-going type) will definitely be more positive and maybe even less cautious than people who struggle with pain, are terminally ill, have broken marriage, are having no job, no home, no satisfactory relationship, etc.

However, there is a strong scientifically proven correlation between willpower, personal integrity and perseverance and better health, better jobs resulting in better income and more successful relationships. Willpower is not the same as positive thinking. Willpower is neither positive, nor negative. It shows that the person has the strength to withstand whatever comes along. Willpower also allows to put through our intentions regardless of obstacles, and quite often that is all what matters.

Under the never-ending pressure to pretend and to show how positive and well we are, we do not want to admit any bad things anymore because that might be understood as a weakness, as a personal failure. We feel OBLIGATED to be positive and to show off our “everything is excellent” side. Nobody has cancelled troubles, diseases, disasters, failures, broken promises and broken hearts. That is LIFE. The bad sides of our life have to be assessed and dealt with accordingly: black doesn’t become white if we think so. We have to paint it white and do this with internal strength from the position of our personal belief and willpower, without pretending, without lying to ourselves.

When somebody is seriously sick, they need a treatment. If one has tooth ache, they have to go to the dentist. When husband is cheating or beating up the wife, we have to divorce him. When small kid is rude, we have to react to it. When our house is dirty we have to clean it: roll up the sleeves and do some stuff which is not really exciting or entertaining.

Talking and thinking does not always help or do the job. We have to act instead of expecting a miracle. It is dangerous to expect we will have everything we feel entitled to without putting any efforts into it. That refers to absolutely any area of our life: being fit and good-looking, having a great relationship or long-lasting marriage, having financial stability, good job and improved global climate.

Neither this world, nor life is perfect. Humans have imperfections, too. It is good to strive for self-improvement, but this is not done only by thinking and attitude. The attitude should be realistically optimistic, but the main part is a POSITIVE ACTION or action to implement all our positive intentions. It is not enough to think: I am beautiful, smart and healthy, while spending the entire time staring at phone or laptop screen on a coach and eating junk foods. Is it?

In my experience, positive thinking gives results only if it is based on assessment of reality and it is followed by an action in the right direction.  I am for realistic optimism.

Besides, one website offered free happiness training. Cool or what? Free. Free happiness for everybody. I told before, type in Dalai Lama’s quote about how man surprised him most because of not living neither in presence, nor future and dying as if he never lived, and this site will come up, but maybe don’t do that because Olga, a fellow blogger was embarrassed to receive messages every day, although, she didn’t sign up for anything on that site. This is just how terrible they are: you want a free happiness and they make you suffer for that.

To be continued about self-admiration and the distorted understanding of truth.

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